Here are some common Microsoft SCCM (System Center Configuration Manager) interview questions and answers:
What is SCCM?
Ans: SCCM (System Center Configuration Manager) is a Microsoft product used for managing large groups of computers running Windows operating systems. It helps in deploying software updates, managing security and compliance, and automating various IT tasks.
What are the main features of SCCM?
Ans: The main features of SCCM include:
- Software deployment and distribution
- Operating system deployment
- Inventory management
- Remote control
- Software metering
- Compliance settings management
- Reporting and analytics
What is the role of a Site Server in SCCM?
Ans: A Site Server is the central point of management in SCCM, and it manages the communications between clients and servers. The Site Server is responsible for managing site systems, clients, and site database, and also acts as a distribution point for content distribution.
What is a Collection in SCCM?
Ans: A Collection in SCCM is a group of devices, such as computers or users, that are managed as a single entity. Collections are used to manage, target and deploy software, operating systems, and other configuration items to specific devices.
What is the difference between SCCM and WSUS?
Ans: WSUS (Windows Server Update Services) is a Microsoft product used for patch management and software updates for Windows operating systems. While SCCM also includes WSUS functionality, SCCM provides a more comprehensive set of tools for managing Windows-based devices, including software deployment, operating system deployment, remote control, and more.
How do you troubleshoot software deployment issues in SCCM?
Ans: To troubleshoot software deployment issues in SCCM, you can use the following steps:
- Check the deployment status in the SCCM console
- Verify that the client has received the deployment and is attempting to install it
- Check the client logs, such as ccmsetup.log and location services.log, for any errors
- Verify that the necessary network ports are open and that the client can communicate with the Site Server
- Make sure the necessary permissions are set for the deployment account.
What is the role of a Distribution Point in SCCM?
Ans: A Distribution Point is a server in SCCM that stores and distributes packages and applications to clients. It helps to reduce network traffic and provides clients with faster access to content. A Distribution Point can also be used to deploy operating systems and to host PXE (Pre-Boot Execution Environment) services.
What is the function of the Management Point in SCCM?
Ans: The Management Point is a SCCM component that provides client devices with information about the SCCM infrastructure and the state of their own configuration. It acts as the main point of contact for clients, receiving requests for policy and content, and forwarding those requests to the appropriate site systems.
What is the purpose of the Software Update Point in SCCM?
Ans: The Software Update Point is a SCCM component that integrates with Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) to manage software updates. It enables administrators to approve and distribute software updates to clients and to monitor the status of update deployments.
How does SCCM support remote control?
Ans: SCCM provides remote control capabilities through the Remote Control feature. This feature allows administrators to remotely connect to a client device and perform tasks as if they were physically present at the device. This can be useful for troubleshooting and resolving issues with client devices.
How does SCCM help in managing security and compliance?
Ans: SCCM helps in managing security and compliance by providing a centralized mechanism for enforcing policies and settings across a large number of devices. Using SCCM, administrators can define and enforce security baselines, monitor security events and settings, and remediate non-compliant devices.
How can you ensure high availability of SCCM infrastructure?
Ans: To ensure high availability of the SCCM infrastructure, administrators can deploy multiple site systems, such as management points, software update points, and distribution points, in different locations. This helps to distribute the load and reduce the risk of downtime in case of failures.
Can SCCM be used to manage non-Windows devices?
Ans: No, SCCM is designed to manage Windows-based devices and cannot be used to manage non-Windows devices. However, there are other tools and solutions available that can be used to manage non-Windows devices in an enterprise environment.
What is the SCCM hierarchy and what are the different levels in the hierarchy?
Ans: The SCCM hierarchy is the structure of the SCCM deployment and consists of one or more sites. The different levels in the SCCM hierarchy are:
- Central Administration Site (CAS)
- Primary Site
- Secondary Site
How can you upgrade from SCCM 2012 to SCCM current branch?
Ans: The process of upgrading from SCCM 2012 to the current branch of SCCM involves several steps, including preparing the environment, backing up the data, verifying hardware and software requirements, installing updates and new features, and testing the upgrade. It’s recommended to have a solid understanding of the process and to thoroughly test the upgrade in a non-production environment before proceeding with the production upgrade.
How does SCCM handle client agent installation and upgrades?
Ans: SCCM handles client agent installation and upgrades through the use of client push installation or manual installation methods. Client push installation is a feature that allows the SCCM administrator to automatically install the SCCM client on new or existing devices. Manual installation can be performed by running the ccmsetup.exe file on each device.
How does SCCM handle distribution of software and updates to remote locations?
Ans: SCCM handles distribution of software and updates to remote locations through the use of distribution points and distribution point groups. By configuring distribution points in remote locations, administrators can reduce network traffic and ensure that client devices have fast access to content.
Can SCCM be used to deploy software to mobile devices?
Ans: No, SCCM is designed to manage Windows-based devices and cannot be used to deploy software to mobile devices. However, there are other tools and solutions available that can be used to manage and deploy software to mobile devices in an enterprise environment.
What is the function of the Asset Intelligence (AI) feature in SCCM?
Ans: The Asset Intelligence (AI) feature in SCCM provides detailed information about the software and hardware assets in an organization. This information can be used to manage licenses, optimize hardware and software usage, and improve security and compliance. With AI, administrators can track the usage of software applications, monitor hardware and software changes, and generate reports on software usage patterns.
Can SCCM be used to manage virtualized environments?
Ans: Yes, SCCM can be used to manage virtualized environments, such as Microsoft Hyper-V or VMware vSphere. With SCCM, administrators can deploy and manage virtual machines, monitor their performance, and ensure that they are patched and up-to-date.
How does SCCM handle client deployment failures?
Ans: SCCM provides a number of tools and features to handle client deployment failures, such as log files, reporting, and monitoring. Administrators can use these tools to diagnose and resolve deployment issues, and to monitor the progress of deployments to ensure that they are successful. If a deployment fails, administrators can use the information provided by SCCM to determine the cause of the failure and to take appropriate action to resolve the issue.
What are some of the best practices for deploying SCCM in a large enterprise environment?
Ans: Some of the best practices for deploying SCCM in a large enterprise environment include:
- Planning the SCCM hierarchy and site system roles
- Defining and testing client installation methods
- Creating and testing software update and deployment strategies
- Monitoring the performance of the SCCM infrastructure
- Regularly testing and updating disaster recovery plans
- Ensuring that hardware and software requirements are met
- Regularly backing up SCCM data and configuration.
What is the difference between SCCM and WSUS?
Ans: SCCM (System Center Configuration Manager) and WSUS (Windows Server Update Services) are both Microsoft products used for managing software updates and deployments, but they serve different purposes. SCCM is a comprehensive systems management solution that includes features for software distribution, device management, and reporting. WSUS, on the other hand, is a patch management solution that focuses on distributing and managing Windows updates. SCCM integrates with WSUS and can use it as a source for software updates.
What are the main benefits of using SCCM for software distribution and management?
Ans: The main benefits of using SCCM for software distribution and management include:
- Centralized management of software and updates
- Ability to automate software deployment and update processes
- Improved security and compliance through the use of software updates and patches
- Increased efficiency through the automation of routine tasks and the ability to manage a large number of devices from a single console
- Improved reporting and visibility into software usage and device configurations
- Better control over the software license usage in an organization.
How does SCCM handle security and compliance with software updates?
Ans: SCCM integrates with Windows Update to provide a comprehensive solution for managing software updates and ensuring security and compliance. SCCM allows administrators to approve and deploy software updates based on their importance, urgency, and compliance requirements. SCCM also provides a mechanism for tracking and reporting on software update compliance across the organization. This helps to ensure that all devices are running the latest and most secure software, and that the organization meets its security and compliance requirements.
What is the role of collections in SCCM?
Ans: Collections in SCCM are a way to group devices based on certain criteria, such as geographical location, department, or hardware configuration. Collections are used to target software deployments, configurations, and security policies to specific devices or groups of devices. Administrators can create collections based on device attributes, such as hardware specifications, installed software, or membership in a security group. Once a collection is created, administrators can use it to target software deployments, perform compliance evaluations, and monitor the status of devices in the collection.
How does SCCM handle software compatibility issues?
Ans: SCCM helps administrators to manage software compatibility issues by providing tools for testing and evaluating software before deployment. SCCM includes a feature called “Desired Configuration Management” that allows administrators to specify the required software configurations for devices in their environment. SCCM can then evaluate the configuration of each device and compare it to the desired configuration. If there are any compatibility issues, SCCM can alert administrators and provide information about the issues and how to resolve them.
Can SCCM be used to manage MacOS and Linux devices?
Ans: Yes, SCCM can be used to manage MacOS and Linux devices, but it requires additional components and configurations. SCCM can manage MacOS devices through the use of the Microsoft Intune device management solution. For Linux devices, SCCM can use an agent to manage the devices and perform software deployments, updates, and configurations. In both cases, the management capabilities for MacOS and Linux devices are not as comprehensive as for Windows devices, but SCCM provides a way to manage these devices as part of a broader device management strategy.
How does SCCM ensure the confidentiality and security of sensitive data?
Ans: SCCM provides a number of security features and best practices to ensure the confidentiality and security of sensitive data. These include:
- Encryption of data in transit and at rest
- Authentication and authorization mechanisms to control access to data and resources
- Role-based security to define access and permissions for administrators and users
- Regular security updates and patches to address vulnerabilities
- Use of secure communication protocols, such as HTTPS, to protect data in transit
- Regular backup and disaster recovery plans to ensure that data can be restored in the event of a disaster.
Can SCCM be used to deploy virtual applications and desktops?
Ans: Yes, SCCM can be used to deploy virtual applications and desktops as part of a broader application and desktop management strategy. SCCM integrates with Microsoft’s Remote Desktop Services (RDS) and RemoteApp to provide a solution for deploying and managing virtual applications and desktops. SCCM can be used to deploy virtual applications and desktops to devices, such as laptops and thin clients, that do not have the necessary software and hardware to run applications locally.
How does SCCM handle software updates for mobile devices?
Ans: SCCM can be used to manage software updates for mobile devices through the use of the Microsoft Intune device management solution. Intune integrates with SCCM and provides a way to manage software updates for mobile devices, including iPhones, iPads, and Android devices. Intune provides a central console for managing software updates and can be used to distribute software updates to mobile devices in a secure and controlled manner.
How does SCCM handle software deployments in remote and disconnected environments?
Ans: SCCM provides features for managing software deployments in remote and disconnected environments through the use of distribution points and content management. A distribution point is a server that is used to store and distribute software packages to remote devices. In disconnected environments, a distribution point can be installed on a local network to provide access to software packages without an internet connection. SCCM can be configured to manage content replication, so that distribution points always have the latest software packages available. This ensures that software can be deployed to remote and disconnected devices even when they do not have an internet connection.
What are the main differences between SCCM and Microsoft Intune?
Ans: SCCM (System Center Configuration Manager) and Microsoft Intune are both Microsoft products used for device management, but they serve different purposes and target different types of devices. SCCM is a comprehensive device management solution that includes features for software distribution, device management, and reporting, and is targeted primarily at Windows devices. Microsoft Intune is a cloud-based device management solution that focuses on managing mobile devices, including iPhones, iPads, and Android devices. Intune provides a way to manage software updates, security, and compliance for mobile devices, but does not provide the same level of management and control as SCCM for Windows devices. Both SCCM and Intune can be used together as part of a comprehensive device management strategy.